My First Art Opening

The painting continues...time is moving quickly these days...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is painting a dead art?

I used to think so. I always thought that painting was a great way to express yourself, but I wondered if the art form could have any validity in our modern world.
Digital media is all around and I too enjoy using computer programs like 3D Studio, AutoCad, Photoshop and Illustrator to create digital art for both work and personal projects.

With that said, creating a painting is hands on, expressive and immediate. The motion of your hand and the smell of the paint makes it so real and, for me, almost spiritual. The finished product is a one of a kind, personal piece that will last a very long time. Put varnish on it and it could last a 100 years or more without fading. Photographs and digital prints have a limited longevity and lack the tactile qualities of a painting.

I think that painting will always be a valid art form because of it's unique presence and singularity.
Hand crafted objects and art will always be a welcome things in this world of overwhelming technology.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Picture Quality

I have been photographing my paintings with a small digital camera with two 100 w lamps in my basement.  If you look at the paintings closely, the image quality is poor.
The paintings are much better in person.
I will continue to work at getting better images. 

A Portrait

Here is a small painting (6" x 9") of my lovely wife Jennifer.  I am still wanting to do a nude of her and I'm sure that she will oblige me.   Depending on how it turns out, she may let me post it.
This is my first portrait on the blog.   The face is so small (less than the size of a quarter) it was hard to get the likeness just right.  I needed a few sessions to get it close.  
What do you think she is looking at?

Commissioned Work

While at a friends party for their newly renovated kitchen and second floor, I was standing in the kitchen and made a joke that all that was needed to complete the room was one of my paintings.
Well, the owner was within ear-shot and it turns out she was going to ask me if I could do a painting for her.
The Broadway bridge is an iconic structure on the Willamette river here in downtown Portland.

Small Paintings

These five paintings were made on MDF board and range from 6 " x 6" to 10" x 10".
These small paintings has helped me focus on detail and brush technique. I'm not so worried about the amount of paint I am putting down.
One of the reasons for these is my interest in the "painting a day" trend that seems to be popular on the internet. These paintings are put on e-bay with starting bids of $50 or so and can fetch hundreds of dollars.
For the most part, these were painting in a day, a few hours each actually. It is nice to get a painting done in a session and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Back to urban landscapes

The industrial areas around Portland have a lot of interesting bits and pieces.
I exaggerated the colors to make the scene more interesting.
I feel like I am getting somewhere with this one.
The power lines interest me as linking and potentially abstracting elements.  
I feel like the way I painted this was still very tight and I need to loosen up.

More Abstract

This abstract came from a sketch in my sketchbook.

I like the colors, but the composition is too rigid and forboding.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Abstract - Not Ready Yet

After doing the cityscape, I wanted to try something abstract.
This on is on a home-made stretcher and canvas.
It is a doodle.  The lines that look like asian characters are made up and try to express my fondness for asian characters as alien and magical.
It is a bit silly and my kids think the blobs look like alien eyes.

Summer in the back yard of Radius Studio

This was the painting that started my current painting binge.
It was completed during a summer class at Radius Studio in Portland Oregon.
My teacher was artist Jolyn Fry.  I was lucky to get her all to myself.
The painting was done in person behind the beat up studio and is a view out of the sunken
back yard.
I struggled through this painting for four or five sessions, painting in wind and a little rain.  The time of day was late afternoon.
I eventually said adios to my instructor and took the thing home and finished it in my basement studio.
I built a frame (it took three tries) and hung the son of a bitch on the wall.

This is Steve

This is my first post on my blog.
Everyone has a blog these days. I am usually late getting on the band wagon, if I get on at all, so here I am.
I wanted a way to show and discuss my artwork and this seems as good as anything on the internet.

I am an architect by training and have been licensed in Oregon since 1999.
I enjoy architecture as a concept but have not been as pleased with the reality of the profession.
I do make enough to support my family of four, but it is just enough.

When I was a kid I was very good at art. My mom sent me to an art school for little kids and I did well there.
My parents did not push the art thing too much but it was always a source of comfort.
I did take some art classes in high school and college and always did well.
Motivation always seemed to be a problem.
I like doing artwork for others because it forces me to make art. It feels great to both make the art and have others enjoy it.

I turned 40 last year. While I am a good architect, I am not famous or rich.
Everyone asks me about the turn. I don't feel 40 which seems to be a common feeling
I like to say that I have been having a mid-life crisis since I went through puberty, so while turning 40 is strange I don't feel depressed about it. I have a great family and love that we can have a nice home in Portland.
My work as an architect has been interesting and rewarding in many respects and I may still have a chance at a little fame or at least get to make decent architecture.
I do seem to have a renewed sense of perspective and desire to get my ideas out there.
Things really picked up when I decided to take an art class last summer.
I have been painting ever since.

I want this artists voyage to continue. My hope is to be able to sell enough art to support the hobby and build a bit of a name for myself.

Enjoy the blog.